To survive a month-long money diet, we’re going to have to find plenty of opportunities to spoil ourselves. One of my favorite ways to indulge is to make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, roll it into balls and freeze some of the unbaked dough so that we can have ‘on demand’ cookies whenever we want.
I’ve been experimenting with chocolate chip cookie recipes for many years, and the recipe that’s my current favorite contains both butter and shortening. Butter adds great flavor, and shortening adds structure and makes a slightly chewy cookie. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with substituting half of the regular flour with organic whole wheat flour; the cookies taste great and they’re a little healthier.
We often use Ghiradelli semisweet chips in these cookies, as they’re readily available at our grocery store. I’ve also used Whole Foods’ vegan and organic chocolate chips – both yummy. Sometimes it’s fun to cut up a chunk of good chocolate, and we also like the mini chips because you get the melty chocolate flavor all throughout the cookie. Sometimes I do half milk chocolate and half semisweet, too; feel free to experiment and have fun.
I’ve posted our favorite chocolate chip recipe here. (Chocolately Goodness is a blog that’s currently hibernating. I started it due to my deep and abiding love for all things chocolate. However, I soon realized that there weren’t enough hours in the day to maintain several blogs – let alone manage tasks like earning a living, caring for my children and practicing good personal hygiene.)
After you prepare the dough, you can bake some of it and roll the rest into walnut-sized balls. Arrange the balls on a parchment lined pan.
Cover the cookies tightly with foil or plastic wrap and freeze. (Don’t skip this step or your cookies may absorb other smells from the freezer.) After 24 hours, remove the cookies and put them in a zip lock bag and return them to the freezer.
When you’re ready for some cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and arrange the balls on the baking sheet; I line our cookie pans with reusable Silpat liners, but you can also use parchment paper or simply grease the pan. I like to let the frozen cookies sit on the tray and thaw for about 15 minutes prior to cooking, but if you’re in a hurry you can just pop them in the oven. The colder they are the less they will spread, and you’ll also have to bake them a little longer if they’re frozen solid. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, watching them carefully toward the end; you only want the teensiest bit of browning if you want chewy cookies. Cool for a minute and then transfer them to a wire rack. As soon as the cookies are cooled to room temperature, store them in a covered container.